If you are considering to sell your business, you should take some time to reflect on your own circumstances. Selling your business can be a very life-changing experience, but it is also a risky endeavor. The decision to sell your business is entirely up to you. Consider the following: is the sale of your business financially beneficial? Will it support your current life style? What are your current financial obligations? What is your need for cash flow? What are your potential long-term expenses?
Selling a business is a life-changing experience
The emotions that arise when you decide to sell your business can range from excitement to sadness. Many business owners have no other passions or hobbies outside of the business. Once the business is sold, many feel a sense of isolation and loneliness. If you have children, you may feel a sense of loss as they have assumed that they will be able to take over the company one day. If you are the second or third generation owner of a business, you might feel the loss of identity as well.
Aside from the emotional roller coaster, the experience of selling a business can also lead to the reinvention of your life. Business owners can recognize the value of reinvention as a way to stay relevant, and they may feel that reinvention is possible after the business is sold. But there is also a high risk of failure. If you are a business owner afraid of failure, you might not want to consider selling your business. While some business owners are wired for serial entrepreneurship or other ventures, others are more interested in investing. The stability of their current business can also prevent them from re-investing their money.
It depends on financials
Several factors determine whether or not a business is profitable enough to sell. In a difficult market, access to capital is limited. For example, during the 2008 financial crisis, banks did not lend to small businesses. Nowadays, interest rates are low, which is good for business owners. In addition, buyers have plenty of cash to invest. While the market offers a window of opportunity to sell a business, you should avoid rushing the process. Inadequate financial planning can lead to errors.
One of the most important things to do before selling a business is to eliminate any debt and gather all relevant financial documents. Paying off debt will help improve your financials and make the sale process faster. Potential buyers will look elsewhere if you show them that your business is in debt, so removing it will help to speed up the process. When showing potential buyers that your business has a lot of debt, they might be put off. They will likely make an offer lower than what you expect.
The financial statements provided to prospective buyers must reflect the actual state of the business. Personal financial information may not be relevant to the buyer. A normalised version of the financials may adjust for personal assets, expenses flowing through the business, and abnormal events. Financial statements should include the payment of owner salaries and dividends. Owners may also receive wages, dividends, or a combination of these. The financials should accurately reflect market value for the role they have.